Bad Words: Swearing At Kids

Bad Words is a dark comedy film directed by Jason Bateman. The plot sees adult man Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman), enter into a children’s spelling competition much to the annoyance of all involved.

Before watching this film I read some of the reviews for it that called it things like ‘offensive’ and ‘in bad taste’ and I have to say after watching it these people just seem to be very fragile, and easily upset to think that this was bad or offensive.

The (apparently offending), humour is just standard dark comedy affair, Guy is the traditional arsehole protagonist that you are not meant to root for at the start of the film; usually the sort of role Vince Vaughn would play. Very much in keeping with that architype, as the film progresses the character reconsiders their behaviour or starts to show some nicer personality traits, thereby making them likeable and someone with whom the audience can begin to root for; this is fairly standard character development for a dark comedy film, and it is beat for beat present in the film. There is no deviation or fresh take on this formula, so don’t go in expecting the unexpected, you can work out the ending in the first 5 minutes.

The comedy I found to be hit and miss, Bateman’s character only had a few genuine laugh out loud jokes, but often made me smile. However, not all of Bateman’s jokes land and a few are painfully unfunny, the same can also be said for when anyone other than Bateman tries to be funny: it never works. However, comedy is subjective so you might feel differently.

Bateman and Kathryn Hahn (who plays Guy’s press correspondent/ girlfriend) have a good back and forth and you can feel the chemistry there which makes for pleasant, almost comforting viewing.

Overall, a slightly better than average dark comedy.

Pros.

Bateman

The jokes (for the most part)

Bateman and Hahn’s chemistry

Cons.

Some of the jokes really didn’t work

The other characters, outside of Bateman and Hahn were often annoying

3/5

Reviewed by Luke     

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